Math 131 - College Algebra

Joliet Junior College

Joliet, Illinois


Instructor:  Michael Sullivan                                             Phone:  (815) 280-7706

E-mail:                                                   Office:  06 North Campus


Office Hours:      MW     7:30 am – 8:00 am

                                    MW     3:10 pm – 4 pm

                                    T          11:30 am – 1:30 pm

                                    By Appointment


Prerequisite:  Satisfactory Placement test score or grade of “C” in Math 098 and Math 095 or equivalent.


Text:  College Algebra Enhanced with Graphing Utilities, 5th Edition by Michael Sullivan and Michael Sullivan, III; Prentice Hall, 2009.


MyMathLab:  MyMathLab Access Kit. This program generates as many homework problems as you wish. It can provide full solutions of the problem and helpful hints. There are also videos of me doing sample problems for you.  This program will be used to deliver your homework. You can watch videos to help get you acclimated to MyMathLab at


The MyMathLab course ID for our class is sullivan13283


Graphing Calculator:  A graphing calculator is required for the course with a TI83 Plus or TI84 Plus recommended.  If you wish, you may rent a TI83 from the math department.  See me if you wish to rent a TI83.


Course Description:  Topics from beginning and intermediate algebra are reviewed and expanded.  Additional topics are developed which will prepare the student to successfully pursue more advanced courses in mathematics:  polynomial functions of higher degree, rational functions, conic sections, matrices, arithmetic and geometric progressions, mathematical induction, permutations and combinations, and the Binomial Theorem.


Topical Outline of the Course:


Linear and Quadratic Functions

Functions and Their Graphs

Polynomial and Rational Functions

Exponential and Logarithmic Functions

Systems of Equations and Inequalities

Sequences; Induction; The Binomial Theorem

Permutations and Combinations


Attendance:  Attendance is absolutely essential in order to succeed in this course.  Therefore, attendance will be taken daily.  If a class is missed, it is your responsibility to determine the material that was covered.


MyMathLab Homework:  MyMathLab is a program that contains algorithmically generated homework based on problems from the text. Here is how you should use the program:

  1. Read the section you are working on (you could read the textbook online using the Multimedia Textbook). Watch the Camtasia Lectures located at  These videos are also available in the Multimedia Library in MyMathLab. There are also Section Lecture Videos located in the Multimedia Library in MyMathLab. 
  2. If you like, attempt some of the homework problems assigned from the text. These problems can be located in the Assignments folder (in Angel).
  3. Click the Do Homework tab in MyMathLab.  Click on the link of the section homework you are working on.  Now click on the link of the first exercise to be assigned.  Notice on the right side, you can print the entire assignment out. I recommend that you do this, work the problems using paper and pencil, and come back to the assignment after you have done the homework to enter your answers.  If you get a problem wrong, MyMathLab will allow you to change your answer until it is correct. This is the beauty of the program – the homework is to help you (and your grade). 


There are a total number of 200 points available for homework.  If you complete 90% of the online homework, you will receive 180 points


Exams:  There will be four exams administered during the semester. Each exam is worth 100 points.  If you cannot attend class the day an exam is to be administered, you must take the exam prior to the day it is scheduled.  If you cannot take the exam prior to the scheduled date, then the final exam will take the place of the missed exam.  In addition to chapter exams, there will also be a comprehensive final exam worth 150 points.  The final exam can be used to replace your lowest test score. 


Student Conduct:

All students are expected to adhere to the rules of student conduct as stated in the college catalog.


Important Dates:

Jan 12: First Day of Classes
Jan 19: King's Birthday (H)
Feb 12: Lincoln's Birthday (H)
Feb 13: P&P Development Day, No day classes, Evening classes meet as scheduled. Week of Mar 16 – 20: Spring Break (classes resume Sat, Mar 21)
Apr 10 - 12: Spring Recess (H)
Week of May 11 - 15: Final Exams
May 15: Spring Commencement


Refund Policy

The college’s refund policy can be found at


Academic Assistance: Please feel free to seek assistance outside of classroom time.  There is free tutoring in the Academic Skills Center (J2033, ext. 2284) and Project Advance (J2025, ext. 2456).  Students with a documented disability, who require testing accommodations or must tape class lectures should identify themselves during the first few weeks of the semester.  Please contact the instructor privately before or after class or during my office hours so your needs can be discussed.


Math Lab:  In addition to the Academic Skills Center, there is a Math Learning Center with tutors located in Room C2019. The hours of the lab are:


Monday – Friday                   8:00 am – 2:30 pm

Tuesday - Thursday             5:00 pm – 7:30 pm


The Learning Center’s phone number is (815) 280 – 2823.


Grade Assignment:  The following legend will be used to convert percentages into letter grades:

> 90%                          A

              80 - 89%                    B

                        70 - 79%                  C

                        60 - 69%                    D

                          0 - 59%                    F



Tentative Schedule:  The following schedule is subject to change in order to meet the needs of the class.


Week               Date Week Begins         Assignment

Week One                  1/12                                        1.1 – 1.6

Week Two                  1/19                                        1.7; 2.1

Week Three              1/26                                        2.2 – 2.3; 3.1 – 3.2

Week Four                 2/2                                          3.3 – 3.5

Week Five                  2/9                                          Review; Exam #1; 4.1 – 4.2

Week Six                   2/16                                        4.3 – 4.5

Week Seven               2/23                                       5.1 – 5.2

Week Eight                3/2                                          5.3; Review; Exam #2

Week Nine                 3/9                                          5.4 – 5.5

                                    3/16                                        Spring Break

Week Ten                  3/23                                       6.1 – 6.2

Week Eleven              3/30                                       6.3 – 6.4

Week Twelve             4/6                                          6.5; Review; Exam #3

Week Thirteen          4/13                                        6.6 – 6.7; 8.1 – 8.2

Week Fourteen         4/20                                       8.4

Week Fifteen                        4/27                                       9. 1 – 9.3

Week Sixteen           5/4                                          Review; Exam #4 (12/8)

Week Seventeen       5/11                                        Final exam